More Than Flavour in the Kitchen Cupboard
Clean Living, Saving Money
We commonly add spices to food we make, perhaps not just for flavour but for health reasons as well, but fewer people utilise them for anything else.
Many buy expensive face masks for rejuvenated looks, ignoring that most of the claims are untrue.
There are many benefits of looking at the kitchen cupboard for skin maintenance and general good health. For a start, if we make our own moisturisers, skin tonics, face masks, shampoo, conditioner, etc, we know pretty much exactly what goes into it and never have to worry about unhealthy fillers, unethically sourced ingredients like skin irritants, animal DNA, aborted foetal tissue, nor about animal testing.
Furthermore, we can choose the ingredients that benefit each of us most. Human skin is diverse, and by making cosmetics ourselves, we can tailor them exactly to our skin’s needs. Preparing these health-enhancing cosmetics does not have to be time consuming or laborious either. I have not bought any commercial moisturisers, tonics, or face masks in decades, and I have not only been spending less time than many people take to choose a new commercial product but far less money as well. And the greatest plus I see is that neither animals nor humans have suffered in the making of my products.
So, what can we find in the kitchen cupboard? Herbs, spices, honey, oats, raw apple cider vinegar, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), cocoa, virgin coconut oil, virgin olive oil.
For an effective face mask, mix a tablespoon raw local honey with a half teaspoon turmeric and quarter teaspoon cinnamon. If your skin is particularly prone to blemishes, add some ground ginger (fresh or dried). Mix well and spread a thin layer over your face. Have a bath, or read a book or check your email. Leave the mask on for 15 to 30 minutes. The duration of comfort typically varies, but wash it off before it starts feeling uncomfortable. All that is needed to wash it off is clear water. No, the turmeric will not dye your skin; it washes off just like the other ingredients.
Blemishes will be reduced, and the skin will feel softer than before. Use it nightly or weekly or as wanted. The mix will last a few weeks, and if you use it often, you can double the amounts. No need to prepare a fresh batch each time.
Alternatively, mix some yoghurt with the honey. Yoghurt also leaves your skin baby soft, but should only be used fresh.
For a facial tonic, throw a handful of oats in good-quality water (not tap water) and leave overnight. Pour through a fine-meshed sieve, add a few drops of essential oil, and apply the water to your face with a sponge or some cotton wool. Or you can fill the water in a spray bottle and then just spray it on your face and let it dry before applying moisturiser.
Speaking of moisturiser, I find coconut oil with a few drops of essential oils of choice works better than any commercial product I ever tried. During the cold months, I add a little bit of castor oil so it does not become too hard, and in warmer seasons or climates, I add a drop or two of beeswax to prevent it from going completely liquid.
The Invention of Shampoo is Fairly Recent
Last for now, but by no means least, have you ever wondered how people kept their hair clean before the days of commercial shampoos? I have no doubt many used ordinary soap (not cleansing bars; there is a considerable difference in ingredients between soap and cleansing bars), but baking soda is a viable alternative to any hair-cleaning products. A teaspoon of baking soda, rubbed into the scalp, followed by a good rinse, followed by the application of raw apple cider vinegar not only keeps the hair shiny and clean but keeps away scalp irritations as well as dandruff. The apple cider vinegar works well on its own, but can also be enhanced with essential oils that benefit hair, such as rosemary or lemon or, if hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause affect hair, a combination of ylang-ylang and clary sage.
There are many plants growing abundantly in the wild that are useful for skincare, and I will post about those in the near future.